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Source: Taxpayers Union

Responding to today’s $3.9 billion funding package for District Health Boards, New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says:”In February, the Health Minister claimed he was putting DHBs ‘on notice’ for their poor financial performance. But today, he’s rewarding them with a massive funding injection, costing more than $2000 per household.””While it’s important that our health services are properly-funded, this should come with an expectation that funds are well-managed. As it stands, all but one of our DHBs are racking up significant deficits, necessitating taxpayer-funded bailouts. How can we trust them to manage bigger budgets when they can’t manage their current ones?””Last year we released research highlighting a number of areas where DHBs can find savings, such as reducing costs related to missed appointments, adverse drug reactions, and redundancy payments. Ultimately, if DHBs fail to balance their budgets then they should be subject to wider reform, such as amalgamation.””Finally, the scale of this spending announcement is an alarming signal for taxpayers. Pre-Budget packages used to be warm-ups to provide some small feel-good stories ahead of the main show. This single announcement could have been the centrepiece of Budget Day five or ten years ago. Just what exactly are taxpayers in for on Thursday?”